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serenityNOW's avatar

I have a bankruptcy liability question - (see details)

Asked by serenityNOW (3397 points ) February 9th, 2013

I’m filing for bankruptcy, but I have a question about my dad’s liability: I’m “on” his credit card. However, I’m not the account-holder; the account is in his own name, but has my name on the card. I receive no bills/mail/anything. I talked to an attorney regarding this issue, and it looks as if I’m in the clear, or more importantly, he is. Still, I could use some reassurance from anyone who has filed before, or has some experience as someone who’s had a family member file? Also, I’m in New York if that affects anything, and it’s an American Express card. Thanks!

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6 Answers

DrBill's avatar

Go with the attorney, he should know.

hearkat's avatar

When I was separated (but before my bankruptcy), AmEx tried to come after me for $2800+ that my ex hadn’t paid because I had previously had second card on his account. I disputed it based on the fact that I had not activated the second card when they sent me a new one because the previous one had expired. Therefore, I had evidence that I was no longer associated with his account.

In your case, since your father is the primary cardholder and you are the one going through the bankruptcy, it will no effect his account – however, he will be held responsible for any charges made to the account – whether it was you or he that made them – and you will not be able to discharge the debts to that account through your bankruptcy. AmEx may want you to forfeit your card, as well.

serenityNOW's avatar

@hearkat – Maybe it’s too late but I’m not quite following you:
In other words, it won’t effect his assets, but he might have to zero-out the account, i.e. pay the full balance when I was a cardholder? I’m forfeiting my card tomorrow – or as soon as I can talk to my parents – about resolving this:
(I have to borrow money from them, considering even bankruptcy ain’t free, lol. This is turning into an effin’ nightmare, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, anyway, thanks for the info – my primary concern is this going to bankrupt my Pop!

hearkat's avatar

He will have to pay his AmEx card per the terms of his agreement – regardless of who made the charges or which card was used. We had the plain old green AmEx card in the ‘90s that had to be paid off every month. If he has an account that allows him to carry a balance, then he can still do so.

Your bankruptcy will not show on your father’s account, but you can not discharge any of the charges on his account, either. He has to pay AmEx, and it is up to you to pay your dad for whatever amount you’ve put on that card.

srmorgan's avatar

@serenityNOW

@hearkat has given you the precise answer that you need.

I am the primary card-holder on a credit card. The account is in my name, no one else is responsible for the charges.

My son carries a card with the same account number but with his name on the card. If he runs up charges, it is up to me to pay the bill.

Be glad that your father was kind enough to allow your usage of his card.,

serenityNOW's avatar

@srmorgan – I’m in the same boat that your son is in, I found out. Literally 5 minutes ago! I returned the card from him, made sure we were on the same account number – we are – and thanked him graciously for letting me use it all these years. So, that’s the end of that story. Well, almost the end. Things are bleak right now, but I will attempt to pay back my father, somehow. I’ll leave that for another Fluther Jamboree
@hearkat – Thanks for all the info. Makes sense to me.
@DrBill – I’m calling him tomorrow, so we can get the ball rolling.

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